Search

A concrete cantilevered building against blue sky and green landscaping

A large green wall with oil paintings in gold frames above a tiled floor

A museum interior space with paintings and concrete walls and stairs

A concrete-walled lobby with windows, a tiled floor, and a circular desk

The top of a concrete spiral staircase with a wooden railing

A tall tree is the focal point of a garden in between two concrete buildings

About arrow_back

Admission for everyone is always free! Check here for current hours and more.

A concrete cantilevered building against blue sky and green landscaping

Collections arrow_back

The Johnson Museum holds more than 40,000 works in its collection from around the world.

A large green wall with oil paintings in gold frames above a tiled floor

Exhibitions arrow_back

Check out what’s on view this season at the Museum and look back through our history.

A museum interior space with paintings and concrete walls and stairs

Events arrow_back

Free events for everyone, plus special programs for students, families, and more!

A concrete-walled lobby with windows, a tiled floor, and a circular desk

Learn arrow_back

The Johnson Museum actively contributes to the intellectual life of our campus and community.

The top of a concrete spiral staircase with a wooden railing

Support arrow_back

Help the Johnson Museum continue its legacy by making a gift today.

A tall tree is the focal point of a garden in between two concrete buildings

43 of 7,991

Edgar Degas

(French, 1834–1917)

Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery

View All Works

Object Details

Artist

Edgar Degas

Date

1879–80

Medium

Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching; ninth state of nine

Dimensions

Image: 10 1/2 x 9 1/8 inches (26.7 x 23.2 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of William P. Chapman, Jr., Class of 1895

Object
Number

57.125

Degas drew his friend Mary Cassatt standing, with her sister Lydia, looking at the Sarcophagus of th(…)

Degas drew his friend Mary Cassatt standing, with her sister Lydia, looking at the Sarcophagus of the Spouses in the Musée du Louvre’s Etruscan gallery. Degas’s print was made for the first issue of a (failed) collaborative journal of original prints, Le Jour et la Nuit, where it would have joined prints by his colleagues Cassatt, Pissarro, and Bracquemond. The highly complex, pictorial techniques closely associated with these painter-printmakers were influenced by their graphic work in other media. In this case Degas’s original design was made in pastel. Mary Cassatt at the Louvre is one of only three works by Degas in the Johnson Museum’s collection.

The first extensive gift of art to Cornell came from William P. Chapman, Jr., Class of 1895, in the 1940s. Since his graduation in 1895, Chapman had amassed an impressive collection of European, American, and Japanese ukiyo-e prints, as well as a small group of works by pictorialist photographers. In 1942 and 1943 he gave Cornell more than 800 works, followed by a bequest of 2,339 works in 1947. The Chapman collection became the impetus for President Malott to establish the A. D. White Museum in 1953.

(“Highlights from the Collection: 45 Years at the Johnson,” curated by Stephanie Wiles and presented at the Johnson Museum January 27–July 22, 2018) This print, first shown in Paris at the fifth Impressionist exhibition of 1880, depicts Mary Cassatt standing in front of an Etruscan sarcophagus next to a seated figure, probably Cassatt’s sister Lucia, who looks onward. Influenced by photography and Japanese prints, Degas’s form of impressionism involved experiments with a wide variety of techniques. In this print, Degas has deftly employed etching and drypoint lines to clearly delineate detail, while the aquatint provides tonality and shading. Degas revised this plate many times, and the final composition is sophisticated and polished with no apparent tentativeness in execution. (“Imprint/ In Print,” curated by Nancy E. Green with assistance from Christian Waibel ’17 and presented at the Johnson Museum August 8 – December 20, 2015)Influenced by photography and Japanese prints, Degas’s form of Impressionism involved experiments with a wide variety of techniques. A consummate technician, he was intrigued by process, often rejecting simple solutions for more elaborate combinations. In 1879 Degas proposed to Cassatt, Pissarro, Raffaëlli, and Bracquemond the idea of producing a print publication. The journal, to be called Le Jour et la nuit (Day and Night), reflected the artists’ interest in black and white imagery and the contradictory properties of light and shadow. The journal was never published, but Cassatt, Pissarro and Degas made small editions of their prints and showed them in the fifth Impressionist exhibition in 1880. Degas’s contribution, Au Louvre: Musée des Antiques, shows the figure of Mary Cassatt standing in front of an Etruscan sarcophagus, a seated figure with a guidebook (probably her sister Lucia) looking on. The original design for the print was a pastel in which the figures are placed in reverse and are standing in the Grande Galerie of paintings rather than among antiquities. In this print, Degas has deftly employed the etching and drypoint lines to clearly delineate detail while the aquatint, twice printed, adds tonality and shading. Degas revised the plate many times (nine states exist, of which this is the sixth), and the final composition is sophisticated and polished, with no apparent tentativeness in execution. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art,” 1998)

Create an account

Please take a moment to fill your information to create your account.

Reset Password

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive mail with link to set new password.

Save Artwork

Save the artwork in any of your exhibitions or create a new one.

You have not made any exhibitions.

Create New Exhibition

Create New Exhibition